Vice President of Finance & Administration – American Antiquarian Society
American Antiquarian Society, a respected learned society and independent research library, seeks a skilled Vice President of Finance and Administration to lead the organization’s financial and administrative operations and collaborate with staff to support the essential functioning of the organization’s programs. This position is well suited for a finance and operations professional who has non-profit experience, especially with academic and cultural institutions, and an interest in supporting the preservation of American history and culture.
Organization History and Mission
Founded in 1812 by Revolutionary War patriot and printer Isaiah Thomas, the American Antiquarian Society is the third-oldest historical society in the United States and the first to be national rather than local or regional in the scope of its collections and the residencies of its members. A major independent research institution, the Society’s library houses the largest and most accessible collection of books, pamphlets, broadsides, newspapers, periodicals, sheet music, and graphic arts material printed from the colonial period through 1900 in what is now the United States, Canada, and the West Indies. The Society’s collection and reputation for scholarly collaboration attract historians, writers, and researchers from around the world.
As a learned society with a more than 200-year history, the American Antiquarian Society sponsors a broad range of programs for constituencies ranging from school children and their teachers through undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, creative and performing artists and writers, and the general public, and offers more than 40 fellowships annually on a competitive basis. Currently, all programs are being conducted virtually; many previous programs are available to view on the AAS YouTube channel.
The Society was the recipient of the 2013 National Humanities Medal, the first independent research library to be so honored. For more information on the organization’s history and programs, please visit https://www.americanantiquarian.org.
The American Antiquarian Society is committed to preserving and expanding the organization’s collections, and serving the people who use them. Located in Worcester, MA, the Society possesses five buildings on a five-acre campus. Renovations to the main building include a state-of-the-art conservation lab; a fully equipped media room to facilitate links to institutions and people around the world, and revamped climate control systems to protect the collections. With a staff of 44, the American Antiquarian Society is an endowed institution with holdings of $70M, an annual budget of $5.4 million, and an annual draw against the endowment to support the budget. The Society applies for and receives grants from various foundation and government sources as well as significant income contributed from individuals.
About Worcester, MA
With a population of over 180,000, Worcester is New England’s second-largest city, located about 40 miles west of Boston. In the midst of a decade-long renaissance, this former urban manufacturing hub has a deep history that includes hosting Massachusetts’s first public reading of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, as well as the first-ever Women’s Rights Convention in 1850. Worcester’s diverse economy has experienced modest growth while the national economy continues to struggle.
Worcester’s rich cultural landscape includes galleries, art and history museums, and numerous festivals that are held each year. With 9 diverse colleges and universities, the city boasts a world-class education presence and prides itself in the possibilities and resources that are available to students through the Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts.
Reporting to the President, the Vice President of Finance & Administration (VPFA) leads the organization’s finance, accounting, and operations functions; partners with the executive leadership team to support planning for the ongoing advancement and sustainability of the organization; and safeguards the assets of the organization. The former VPFA stepped down in 2020, and the Society has secured outsourced accounting support until a new VPFA is hired.
As the American Antiquarian Society continues to grow and advance its mission, the VPFA performs a key role in serving the institution, including overseeing finance and operations, maintaining the financial books and records of the Society, updating and implementing internal control policies to safeguard assets, monitoring the investment portfolio, and working collaboratively as part of a larger staff team. The VPFA is responsible for the following:
- Lead the overall daily accounting operations of the Society, including restricted and unrestricted finds.
- Ensure timeliness and accuracy of the general ledger and subsidiary records.
- Perform monthly and year-end closings and account reconciliations, including monthly reconciliations with the advancement department.
- Oversee bi-weekly payroll.
- Prepare and analyze monthly, quarterly, and annual financial reports and forecasts for the President, Council, Committee chairs and auditors as appropriate.
- Ensure successful cash management including preparing forecasts and recommending funding sources/transfers as appropriate.
- Develop budgets and financial analyses.
- Track funds and investments in the endowment, and manage transfers/draws to support the operating budget.
- Collaborate with advancement and program professionals to support grants budgeting, implementation, and financial reporting.
Internal Controls, Policies & Procedures
- Recommend and enforce internal controls to safeguard assets.
- Ensure finance records and systems align with GAAP.
- Evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the Society’s accounting and related software platform and modules, with an eye to moving operations to a paperless environment.
- Implement asset capitalization policy; maintain records for amortization and depreciation of capital assets.
- Oversee year-end audit, compliance reporting, MA annual report filings.
Administration & Operations Management
- Manage and collaborate with managers for Human Resources, Information Technology, and Buildings & Grounds.
- Develop capital budgets to support future investments in information technology hardware/software and facilities and grounds.
- Ensure cybersecurity and ADA compliance across facilities.
- Lead operations risk management, including employment compliance, cybersecurity, ADA compliance, and appropriate insurance coverage (worker’s compensation, D&O, commercial liability, etc.)
American Antiquarian Society uses a variety of tools in its finance and operations: AccuFund software, Paylocity payroll services, Raiser’s Edge CRM, and Microsoft Office tools including Word, Excel, Outlook and Teams.
Skills and Attributes
Successful candidates for this position will bring a variety of experiences and competencies to the Society including:
- Alignment with American Antiquarian Society’s values.
- Minimum 5 years relevant experience in roles managing finance, accounting, and operations.
- Nonprofit finance and accounting with experience in grant revenues (foundation & government), current revenue recognition standards, and restricted and unrestricted funding preferred.
- Minimum 2 years supervisory experience.
- Demonstrated ability to work effectively and collaboratively with team members, council members, and external business partners.
- Detail-oriented and skilled at financial analyses and projections.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills; demonstrated ability to communicate financial information to non-financial audiences.
- Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Business, or Finance; or relevant nonprofit accounting experience. CPA, MBA, and/or MS in Finance or Accounting preferred.
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office programs; advanced Excel proficiency preferred.
- Experience with AccuFund or other nonprofit accounting systems and major payroll software; experience with software that supports electronic accounts payable, timesheets, and/or budgeting a plus.
Equal Opportunity Employer
The American Antiquarian Society is an equal opportunity employer in accordance with applicable federal and state laws. The Society takes meaningful steps to promote inclusiveness in its hiring, retention, promotion, councilor recruitment, and constituencies served.